Baseball Falls to 15th-ranked Bulldogs, 5-3
April 20, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
#15 Mississippi State (28-9) 010 001 201 - 5 7 2 Memphis (21-18) 101 000 001 - 3 8 0
Mississippi State designated hitter Brian LaNinfa went 2-for-4 with a pair of solo home runs to power the 15th-ranked Bulldogs to a 5-3 win over Memphis, Wednesday evening at AutoZone Park. MSU has now defeated the Tigers in five-straight contests.
Memphis wasted little time plating the game's first run as sophomore centerfielder K.K. Chalmers led off with a single and moved to third on two wild pitches by Mississippi State starter Chad Crosswhite. Chalmers gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead on a sac fly to rightfield by Will Petersen.
State responded with a run in the second without the aid of a hit. Brad Jones was hit by a Brach Davis offering and later scored on a balk.
The Tigers recaptured the lead in the bottom of the third on an RBI-single by Bill Moss. Two innings later Moss, who finished the night 2-for-4, laced a double to the leftfield corner, and with Petersen on first, it looked as if Memphis would take a two-run cushion. However, the rally was thwarted when Petersen was tagged out at the plate.
After being no-hit through five innings, LaNinfa made the Bulldogs' first hit a big one, as he launched a home run into the left centerfield bullpen to knot the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth.
State got a two-run double from Joseph Hunter to take its first lead of the game, 4-2.
After LaNinfa's second homer gave MSU an insurance run at 5-2, Joey Lieberman made it a two-run game with his team-leading 10th home run. But Bulldogs reliever Aaron Weatherford was able to retire the side without giving up another run to record his second save of the year.
Justin Pigott picked up his third win in as many decisions, while Ben Grisham was saddled with the loss.
The Tigers will hit the road for a three-game C-USA series with Houston. The Cougars and second the league standings behind No. 2 Rice. First pitch for Friday's series-opening contests is set for 7 p.m. Listen to live action as "The Voice of Tiger Baseball", Jeff Brightwell calls the play-by-play action on WUMR 91.7FM.